As we prepare for a return to the workplace reducing health risk is of primary concern. One of the questions we've been receiving is can an employer test employees for COVID-19? Prior to the pandemic this was a much simpler question. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ('EEOC') provided some guidance in this area in light of the ongoing pandemic.
Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I-New Windsor) has launched the 99th Assembly District Reopening and Long Term Recovery Task Force. The goal of this task force is to solicit input from leaders throughout our district regarding legislation and other additional actions that the legislature should take to help the reopening process and ensure long term economic recovery in our region from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today you are responding to yet another new COVID-19 reality. This past Friday Empire State Development updated it's official guidance on Executive Order 202.6. Specifically Item number 9 now reads:
All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
While we%u2019ve all been adapting to working from somewhere other than our office during the pandemic, SHIELD has come into existence. This is not something from the comic books. NY SHIELD (Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act) took effect on March 21 and it contains important changes in New York%u2019s data privacy law. So as we are all rushing to implement remote work from home technology, lets pause (no pun intended) and take a look at some of the liability concerns under the act.
The invocation of force majeure is an extreme measure, the last time the United States faced large scale force majeure disputes was the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Contractors will notice that many of the force majeure clauses in their respective contracts contain a "terrorist attack" provision, before 9/11, this was not the status quo. The Pandemic is an event that has such a large scale impact on New York, the United States and the World, that force majeure law will likely change, throughout the World, forever.